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Man accused of causing the death of a 'Blaney cyclist

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 13th February, 2013 2:42am

Man accused of causing the death of a 'Blaney cyclist

The trial of a man accused of dangerous driving causing the death of a Monaghan cyclist has heard evidence that the deceased had no lights on his bike that evening.

Shane O'Farrell died on August 2, 2011 after he was struck by a car on the N2 Dublin to Derry road between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney sometime after ten that evening.

Zigimantas Gridzuiska (39) of Adrross Avenue, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan has admitted driving away from the scene of the accident after his car collided with a bike carrying Shane O'Farrell (23).

He has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr O'Farrell at Tollyvara Upper on August 2.

He has pleaded guilty to three related charges, namely failing his car to stop at the scene of this accident, failing to keep the car near the scene of this accident and failing to report this accident to gardai.

On day two of the trial the jury were shown a number of exhibits taken from the scene of the accident, including a bicycle helmet broken into three parts and the back wheel of Mr O'Farrell's bike which was found just over eight metres from the likely point of impact.

Garda Sgt David Galligan told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that the body of the deceased was found 54 metres from this point. His runners, the bicycle saddle and other bicycle parts were found at various points along the road.

Lorry driver Paddy Gorman told Conor Devally SC, defending, that at around 10pm on the night of the accident he was driving from Carrickmacross when he saw a cyclist on the other side of the N2 cycling towards Carrickmacross.

He agreed that he told gardai that the cyclist had a "couple of wee reflectors on his helmet". He told them that the cyclist had no front light and no rear light and he remarked on this.

He told the court: "I just looked in the mirror and said that fella hasn't even got a tail light".

Mr Gorman's passenger, Terence Conlon, told Mr Devally that the cyclist was a foot or two out from the yellow line of the hard shoulder. Asked if the conditions were then suitable to cycling without lights he said: "It was just coming dark".

James Rush told Mr Kennedy it was on or after 10pm when he saw a cyclist on his side of the road. He said the cyclist was "well in" on the hard shoulder as he passed him.

He said: "He had no lights. He was hard enough to see. But my lights wouldn't have been focused on him because he was in off the road."

He told Mr Devally that it was a clear dry night but that darkness had fallen at this point. He agreed that he commented on how dark the cyclist was dressed.

He said he later told gardai that he thought the cyclist wasn't adequately lit up and was in a dangerous position. He said that he was about 60ft from the cyclist when he first saw him.

Another motorist, Bronagh Boyle, said she passed a male who was cycling on or just outside the yellow line of the hard shoulder. She said his clothing was very dark but she noticed a reflective armband on his right arm.

She agreed with Mr Devally that she told gardai that she swerved to get around him. She told Mr Devally she had seen him in time to pull out safely.

She said: "I went over the white line to pass him safely."

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of eight men and four women.